Social Web Systems Common Model

Some weeks ago I started to look for social interaction patterns in some sites, as Facebook, Flickr,, LinkedIn, Youtube… The usual suspects. I was just looking for detailed patterns suitable for wireframing. You know, best ways to rate or flag content, etc.

As I collected more and more, I grouped them and realized that it seemed to be some higher level information architecture patterns common to every site. Some “big blocks” appeared all the time, way obvious as “Profile”, or rather more unpredictable, as “Statistics”.

Furthermore, it looked like there were not only information blocks, but also main “actors”, primary interaction consecuences driving to new blocks, different browsing paths depending on, and system intelligence extending everything. Even more, as I advanced picking and sorting, it looked like it wasn´t about an inner website information architecture, but extensible and applicable to open social web systems.

Crazy enough…

So I decided to document all the step-by-step process:

If you want to skip just to results…

The simplified model


The extended model


If you want to play with the model, you can download the Omnigraffle Stencil.

I think that this is a work still in progress, so I´d really appreciate your comments to help me improve the model. Or just if it´s understandable what the heck I´m talking about…

Posted in Information Architecture, Social Networks, Social Web Tagged with: , , , ,
10 comments on “Social Web Systems Common Model
  1. Hello,

    I find it a very good work and a nice starting point for more resaerch.

    The Omnigraffle link is not working by the way.

  2. admin says:

    @Pablo Gavilán
    Thanks, Pablo!

    Link to stencil is working now. It was a stupid url typo…

  3. Hi Alberto.
    Very nice post. Very interesting the model patterns´s analysis.It´s a good idea!


  4. admin says:

    @Eusebio Reyero
    Thanks, Eusebio!

    I´m really glad you like it 🙂

  5. mj says:

    Congratulations Alberto, and thanks a lot for sharing it!
    How beautiful is, when simple things appears after a big comprehension effort.
    Is then when you know you’re helping others for understanding better some phenomena like this one… what a nice information design job have you done.

  6. admin says:

    Thanks, María José!

    I like you think the information design is nice 🙂

    …And sharing is learning, too.

  7. John says:

    Great article! I just have one comment about the “simplified model” graph:

    If you are male, why would you write, “the user _herself_” ??
    Typo? Are you trying to appeal to some kind of feminist ideology of writing?

    To avoid this problem in writing, use “one” (eg. one might find that), or in this case, simply “the user”.

    Again, excellent write up!

  8. Mario says:

    Lo dicho, un trabajo realmente interesante… y muy útil! Estoy deseando ver la continuación. Enhorabuena y gracias, Alberto 🙂

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  1. […] cosa se pone un poco más compleja. Recomiendo la lectura del post de Alberto San José sobre los modelos de web social, más su presentación de diapositivas más su descarga de patrón de […]

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